Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Not So Bad Thought...

We just posted this comment over at the Ostensible Cat blog:

"We've been kind of wondering why there wasn't a collaborative megadungeon project being coordinated amongst all the OSR blogs, each one developing a specific level and bringing it all together as a shared, open source public-domain group effort. Maybe that's an idea that might be worth revisiting in 2011..."

Did something like this already occur and we missed it? If so, can someone point it out to us?

What we have in mind is a cross-blog exercise along the lines of the Open World gaming that Chris over at Hill Cantons has been talking about, only starting from a slightly different angle by attempting to develop a cross-blog open world megadungeon. The current Domain-Level Playtest is an awesome and wonderful thing. This idea would dove-tail directly into that effort, kind of like how Blair's Black Ziggurat. Remember that?


  1. There was the (now abandoned) Megadungeon project at http://www.megadungeon.net/.

  2. Yes there is a Megadungeon-in-progress there, but it was the product of one person, as we understand it, not the collaborative effort of a bunch of inter-linking blogs...

    What we're talking about is the notion of a bunch of bloggers developing levels to a megadungeon taht tehy then crosslink to from blog to blog in a sort of realworld analog to the Open World Play notion.

    A collaboration amongst bloggers to produce such a megadungeon would be a lot of fun and a good way to develop cross-campaign interaction...potentially...

  3. Definitely!

    I do think it was a collaboration, though, just not on the same scale as you are proposing. (And in that case, with a primus inter pares collaborator. Heh.)

    Anyway, I'd love to see something like that. I was kind of sad to see Megadungeon peter out. Maybe he should hand it on to a collaborative group who'd like to carry it on?

  4. It is a nice project. I'm not sure why it stalled, but it is still up there, so maybe it is just waiting, biding time?

    Al over at the Beyond the Black Gate blog has a ton of megadungeon stuff that is just plain impressive.

    Maybe it's just a matter of building the first few pieces and seeing how it either catches on or dies on the vine. Glad to hear that you're finding the idea interesting. We're developing some public domain resources for Hereticwerks, maybe we'll just do a megadungeon-level that we put out there and see what happens...like a mad scientist experiment...

  5. I don't mean to sound dense (blame the cold/flu), but what is the point of something like this?
    --I mean, practically, what is enhanced by it?

    No snark at all intended.

  6. * There was the collaborative megadungeon being written by Fight On! contributors. 1 level/issue. IIRC it started life on the OD&D forums.

    * Zak S was talking about setting up a wiki for user-generated content for his universe-as-dungeon concept.
    Link: Gigacrawler

    * I remember something about a Black Ziggurat being used as a shared element in various 'weird fantasy' blogs (Quantique, Algol, Thool, etc.) at one point, but that's probably miles away from what you actually want...

  7. Too bad about the virus. Get well soon.

    Let's see, how about developing more real & positive commincation (even cooperation) amongst the various bloggers, creating a shared resource for the simple fun of it, or making the whole Open World style of play more accessible and engaging in the here and now?

    Bear in mind that this is entirely speculative--an off-hand notion--and not any sort of mandate. Like it says up above tis blog is a virtual commonplace book as well as a workshop and idea-dumping ground. this was one of those spur of the moment ideas that caught my eye like somethng shiny, so I thought it worth kicking around a bit.

    Such a project would be <1>entirely voluntary. If you don't see any value in this sort of collaboration then you can sit it out. No worries, no problem.

    The fun comes from a group of like-minded people working together towards a common goal. But right now this is entirely speculative and just another brainstorm that may or may not go anywhere--it would depend on the feedback and interest of others. If there's enough interest, maybe we'll pursue this as an experiment. No interest, then we move on to the next thing in the pile. No big deal.

  8. @Chris: Yes, the Black Ziggurat was a fun idea that bled over even into Riskail. Then it led to the White Zigguat.

    That was fun. We just thought that it would be fun to see something similar, only on a more deliberate, organic, cross-blog level...

    Maybe that's a bad idea after all.

    Either way, we wanted to take it for a test-walk and see what other folks thought of it.

  9. @Chris: I have not hear dof Gigacrawler previously--this looks incredible. Thanks for passing along the link.

    How goes the Vaults of Nagoh?

    Any chance you might be interested in a little collaboration on something for Riskail sometime?

  10. Netherwerks,

    I appreciate the time it took to reply.
    --Your three reasons are all good, and more than satisfy my question.

    I'm convinced.
    --I've a lovely spot to contribute.

    Certainly hope my asking a question suggested I was opposed to the concept. I'm a mite sleptical of everything as a consequence of xyz. I'm putting on the Positive Hat this year, and thought I'd ask for clarification rather than assuming.

    As regards cross-pollination gaming, I'm all for that, too.
    --I've had that pleasure more than a few times. It's something I've championed for over two decades.

    The dungeon-thing threw me off because of the idea that in one ?contiguous? area, a dozen or more worlds are at a crossroads of sorts? Or is it something more like linked gateways?

  11. The Skype/PbP LL group I have been playing in (going to two years) used the one-page dungeon format to do a one section a piece mega-dungeon.

    We only did one level and it was a crazy quilt dungeon, but it was hella fun as a creative experiment. I think there is a lot of value in doing this kind of thing: working with and riffing off a collaborator; learning other people's approaches to adventure design; etc.

  12. @Chris: We had a group that tried someting like this years and years ago, so it seemed that a bunch of bloggers *ought* to be able to do it...but maybe not.

    Doing the sections like you describe makes sense and would actually be kind of fun--and a lot like what we had in mind, with each section having the distinct flavor of each blogger/author...

    We need to get a copy of the older Fight On! zines.

    Michael Curtis is also opening up his campaign/setting/world over at his blog: http://poleandrope.blogspot.com/2010/12/welcome-to-my-world.html

    And then there's Zak S. and his Gigacrawler...WOW...that is incredible stuff. Amazing. Cool. Awesome. We're going to have to take some time out to really give this a look over--he's created a system that looks like it comes close to what we're after, and this is a setting that looks like a ton of fun to contribute to...

    So, it looks like there is something in the air, and we're not so much off-base as not keeping up with the right blogs, something we intend to remedy immediately.

    Definitely check out Zak's blog: http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com

  13. It's awesome to see the projects that are listed. I think that this kind of cross-collaboration/utilization will make some very interesting stuff. I'm going to open Basalt Keep. The keep itself is essentially an artifact: a time/space hopping engine so to speak. The island it is on, and the environs below could be ever changing/growing to to the nature of the keep itself. Think of it having something of the feel of The Sailor on the Seas of Fate by Michael Moorcock. More to follow on my blog.


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